Up Front by Emma Hart

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Up Front: Eat Up Your Brothelly

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  • Ian Dalziel,

    ...carrying a big stick?

    (Frankly if souls were actually a saleable commodity they'd have to get in the cue behind me to get cash money for something I have never used.)

    cue the ever-prompt pedant patrol...
    ...and a line-up of the usual suspects,
    well, cue is within cooee of queue...


    a soupcon of similarity...

    I'm seriously curious whether there would be any resemblance at all between Pammy's and regular hetero brothel.

    ...and how is a women paying for a little ass in a he-whorehouse (or boydello) not regular hetero?
    (interestingly brothel originally had a meaning of "worthless man" in late Middle English)

    just the facts madam...

    You could argue whether that's really a documentary, but it seems they don't intend to make something ghastly.

    ...insomuch as it would be "using pictures or interviews with people involved in real events to provide a factual record or report" it would be a documentary - and would have to be a peg above Britain's Worst Teeth and similar rubbish...

    Windows - there is a DOS house over yonder...

    I've often thought that they should have a brothel where the sex workers dress up as 'windows' from the television programme Play School. The round window, the square window, the arch window, the triangle window, and so on.

    David, you could get in a jamb with this idea... though the idea of Platonic Solace has its merits, like the Play School door, it will have its knockers...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 4555 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    I think some of the would-be clients might feel demeaned when it came time to hand over their credit cards.

    I wonder if it's not so much demeaned you'd feel, as "Crap. Yet another service I'm apparently paying a woman-tax for, since it costs me twice as much as a bloke would pay for the same thing (see also haircuts, shoes, underwear, dry cleaning etc)."

    Factor in the pay-inequity pink-collar dollar and make that three times as much.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1408 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    You may be almost 100% sure, but you are 100% wrong.

    Perfectly prepared to accept that. The three other people I asked had the same feeling I did, that things had been changed, but it wasn't anything we could put a finger on. So to speak.

    Maybe there really are prostitutes that have other options, but choose this line of work instead.

    Not maybe, Martin. There ARE. That's as inarguable as there being people in sex work who are there because they have no other options. But my Favourite Sex Worker has two degrees and a decently-earning spouse. Well-educated articulate sex-workers aren't exactly hard to find on the net.

    For an interesting perspective on 'options', try this read from Jill Brennerman.

    My journey into and out of sex work is unique. My first experience in sex work lasted 3 years. I was (literally) a sex slave: no safe words were needed, and I didn’t even know safe words existed. I was coerced.

    10 years after I was trafficked, I returned to sex work as a stripper. While I worked occasionally at clubs, I mostly did outcall bachelor’s parties. The agent got 40 percent, I got 60 percent. That’s 60 percent more than when I was a sex trafficking victim.

    Later still, I gave up on stripping and went to work on my own as an independent escort. I was my own boss and there were no comparable problems. No one hurt me, I set my own boundaries, I got paid what I asked for—all 100 percent of it.

    While it wasn’t the greatest job in the world, it was work; it was nothing like my coerced experience. Anti-trafficking activists like Donna M. Hughes, anti-pornography activists like Gail Dines and Shelly Lubben, anti-prostitution activists like Melissa Farley willfully ignore this fact: there is a world of difference between being a sex trafficking victim and being a sex worker.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4328 posts Report Reply

  • Martin Lindberg,

    Maybe there really are prostitutes that have other options, but choose this line of work instead.

    I believe it is rather well documented, yes.

    Alright, and if I were to purchase sex how do I go about ascertaining that the person I'm buying from is one of these free-choice prostitutes. As opposed to some Lilya 4-ever slave?

    Lower Grey Lynn • Since Jul 2009 • 789 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    Still obsessing on the economics... a quick market-sizing exercise suggests that Pammy's would, ah, saturate its market pretty quickly.

    Unless it deliberately seeks out the tourist dollar. But it's an awfully long way to fly for a bonk, unless you're just coming from Sydney for a naughty weekend (I guess that's what you'd call a flying fuck).

    Thing is, you need a fair few Rotary dinners and Kiwanis breakfasts on weekdays to keep the place open for the big-ticket weddings on the weekend, just to use a service industry analogy I'm familiar with.

    I wonder if they'll offer early bird discounts for students and pensioners. Particularly since this strikes me as the sort of service that when you need it, you probably can't afford it, and when you can afford it, you probably don't need it.

    And/or will they offer gift vouchers? Sweet sixteen! Post-breakup cheer-up pressie! Happy 80th birthday Nana! (Women, after all, Live To Shop and also Treat Themselves to Goodies, so in that regard the enterprise simply cannot fail.)

    I think I'll put my pennies in a jar till they introduce the Two-fer Tuesday. And get a bloke in who's really, really, really stunningly good at Scrabble.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1408 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    Syzygy? Sounds more like a magazine for women who get excited when they win at Scrabble.

    I think you'll find that magazine is called Quixotry.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1408 posts Report Reply

  • Martin Lindberg,

    Not maybe, Martin. There ARE. That's as inarguable as there being people in sex work who are there because they have no other options. But my Favourite Sex Worker has two degrees and a decently-earning spouse. Well-educated articulate sex-workers aren't exactly hard to find on the net

    Yes, I expressed myself badly. I'm sure there are sex workers with degrees who can express themselves well on the internet. But surely that's a biased selection.

    Lower Grey Lynn • Since Jul 2009 • 789 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Alright, and if I were to purchase sex how do I go about ascertaining that the person I'm buying from is one of these free-choice prostitutes. As opposed to some Lilya 4-ever slave?

    Here, I'd start with the Prostitutes Collective. Ask them who the good employers are. Alternately, find a small 'collective' brothel, you know, one of those terrible suburban brothels where three or four women work together out of the same house.

    Talk to the woman. Does she seem happy, petrified, miserable, bored? Is anyone getting very loomy because you're talking to her?

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4328 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Hosking,

    Syzygy? Sounds more like a magazine for women who get excited when they win at Scrabble.

    It was the title of an X Files episode. That's all I know about it.

    What makes people want to be dentists? In all seriousness.

    Well, I'm going with the idea behind this:

    South Roseneath • Since Nov 2006 • 802 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    But surely that's a biased selection.

    Of course it is. The point was that there ARE people who are sex workers by free choice. That appeared to be the point you were arguing against.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4328 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Oh, and further. I'm not aware of anything operating here, but the Sex Workers' Outreach Program in the States runs 'seminars for johns' on just those issues. How to tell if your sex worker is coerced (in Britain, it's simpler: legally, if your sex worker has an accent, they're trafficked), and etiquette - how your sex worker would like you to treat hir. They started doing this because there was a demand.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4328 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    And get a bloke in who's really, really, really stunningly good at Scrabble.

    It has just been pointed out to me that what I am really looking for is a bloke who is just slightly less brilliant than me at Scrabble.

    Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go and beat somebody.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1408 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Alright, and if I were to purchase sex how do I go about ascertaining that the person I'm buying from is one of these free-choice prostitutes.

    They're the ones offering their services outside Trade Aid.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6150 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    in Britain, it's simpler: legally, if your sex worker has an accent, they're trafficked

    Damn. That rules out the Ewan McGregor look-and-sound-alike.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1408 posts Report Reply

  • Martin Lindberg,

    Of course it is. The point was that there ARE people who are sex workers by free choice. That appeared to be the point you were arguing against.

    Well, not really. Maybe I should have expressed that differently. As in: Maybe most sex workers have other options, but choose this line of work instead.

    Anyhoo, I'm just not comfortable with the notion that buying sex is simply another monetary transaction.

    Lower Grey Lynn • Since Jul 2009 • 789 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Well-educated articulate sex-workers aren't exactly hard to find on the net.

    Nor are really, really stupid ones, especially ones with totally drug addled minds. These are the career prostitutes, rather than the stepping stone ones.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8305 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Anyhoo, I'm just not comfortable with the notion that buying sex is simply another monetary transaction.

    I pretty much agree. I don't think it should be illegal because that causes more problems, and I don't see any real point in judging the participants, but I don't really think we'd put it up there in our 'most desired outcomes' that we had created 20,000 more jobs for prostitutes, or that more girls felt more empowered to become prostitutes, or that every street has a brothel in it. It's just not that excellent a thing. I see it rather like gambling. It should be allowed, it should be controlled, and people who have troubles with it should be cared for and helped out of it, if they want that.

    Perhaps a slightly easier way to see it - is it actually something you'd be proud to tell you family that your (grown up) kids were doing? Why not? What's inherently wrong with finding out your son is sucking cocks for a living? Or your daughter? Think on it. They're learning the value of hard work, earning a crust, doing something with a future. Or are they?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8305 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Nor are really, really stupid ones, especially ones with totally drug addled minds.

    Yes, as in any business, there are foolish,stupid selfish, abused, and greedy people.Thinking back on how many sex workers I have come into contact with, I would say it was a variety of types and for the few that liked their buzz, of all I know, it was the drug takers that actually were the most savvy at getting the big bucks for fucks.Others ,(men and women) picked up holidays, free rentals and the escorts also got breakfast lunch and dinners.So pretty much just like any other business person.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 5924 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    Anyhoo, I'm just not comfortable with the notion that buying sex is simply another monetary transaction.

    I don't think you're alone, Martin.

    The same goes for other exchanges of money for personal services, or even for persons, or parts of persons. Adoption, organ donation, child care, nursing care. I paid my midwife but that wasn't simply another monetary transaction. Paying someone to clean one's house, or one's clothes, or even one's person, is another fuzzy zone of taboo and trepidation and intimacy.

    Some people find joy in providing service, and make a living doing so; others find joy in making a living, and do so by providing service. At a guess, our discomfort level rises inversely to the level of joy, for both the servicer and the serviced.

    (If you're less utopian than me, for "joy" read "satisfaction").

    Most service work is done by women, and underpaid accordingly, but there's no reason men can't be good at it as well, although it's presumably less likely they'll be underpaid for it.

    Arguably, of course, you could wonder whether anything is (or should be) regarded as simply another monetary transaction. Everything comes at a price and it's not always the one on the tag.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1408 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    (If you're less utopian than me, for "joy" read "satisfaction").

    After reading Sofie's comment, I should add "free lunch" into the mix :-) The value of which is not to be underestimated.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1408 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Perhaps a slightly easier way to see it - is it actually something you'd be proud to tell you family that your (grown up) kids were doing? Why not? What's inherently wrong with finding out your son is sucking cocks for a living? Or your daughter? Think on it. They're learning the value of hard work, earning a crust, doing something with a future. Or are they?

    Ask me if I'd rather a child of mine became a prostitute or a banker, I'd probably have to say - what kind of prostitute? and what kind of banker? But beyond that I'd like them to do something they enjoyed and that made them feel good about themselves and that they were comfortable with. I'd see it involving some sort of solidarity as a plus, but that's more about me than about them. What will it be, it's hard to say or know.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7320 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    It has just been pointed out to me that what I am really looking for is a bloke who is just slightly less brilliant than me at Scrabble.

    Oh Jolisa. I would lose gracefully and it wouldn't cost you a cent. :-o

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1479 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    Oh Jolisa. I would lose gracefully and it wouldn't cost you a cent. :-o

    A very kind offer, but I already have a man wot does :-)

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1408 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    If you're less utopian than me, for "joy" read "satisfaction".

    Moi. Poor simple male. Now it would probably start a war but it could be an interesting thread. But.........

    What IS "satisfaction"?

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1479 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Ask me if I'd rather a child of mine became a prostitute or a banker, I'd probably have to say - what kind of prostitute? and what kind of banker?

    But that wasn't what I asked. It was whether you'd be proud to tell everyone about it. If people asked some follow up questions about exactly what he does at the bank, you'd most likely be able to say something that sounded like it involved some praiseworthy faculties. I doubt you'd really want to answer too many follow up questions about the other game.

    Well, OK, there could always be some brag value in "he's using his enormous inheritance", but don't forget that if he's for rent, it's not hard for people to check that out.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8305 posts Report Reply

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